COLONIE — The Planning Board granted concept acceptance to a much smaller building with a new purpose on a chunk of land at 767 Troy Schenectady Road between Whitney Road and Bailey Avenue.
This is the third plan J. Luke Construction brought to the board for consideration. The first two were three stores high and were 50,000 and 40,000 square feet, respectively. The latest iteration is a one story, 15,000-square-foot building with 88 parking spots. The 40,000-square-foot version would have had 205 spots.
“The common theme we heard was that we were trying to put too much on too small a piece of land,” John Luke Hodorowski, the proprietor of J. Luke Construction, told the Planning Board on Tuesday, March 10.
Of the 2.5 acres of land, 13.7 percent will be taken up by the building, 36 percent will be pavement and 50.3 percent will be greenspace. The buildings that were on site have been demolished and right now it is vacant.
It is also being pitches as a medical arts building rather than a proposed home to Northern Mutual, a financial planning company which was looking to consolidate its operations.
Access was another concern in prior proposals and rather than access onto Whitney Road where there is a traffic light, the latest proposal includes a single driveway onto Route 7 for ingress and egress closer to the eastern side of the property. That idea needs an OK from the state Department of Transportation.
The building is expected to generate about 30 vehicles during the morning peak traffic hours and 28 during the afternoon peak travel times.
Hodorowski said he has some tenants lined up but the building is not yet to capacity. There is a sign along Route 7 saying there is 7,500 square feet of space for rent. He told the Planning Board the tenants he has are in the medical field but did not rule out other office uses as he rents out the rest.
He is asking for one waiver, to build the building further away from Route 7 than the 25-foot maximum setback currently called for under Neighborhood, Office Residential zoning regulations, which will allow the building to be in line with others along that stretch of road.
Two neighbors spoke on the project, one was in favor of the plan and another didn’t like the location of the new driveway.
Bailey Avenue and Whitney Road form something like the legs of a horseshoe while the arch connecting them is Audrey Road, a street lined with single family homes on both sides. That neighborhood would be directly behind the proposed office building.
Earlier plans called for a retaining wall along the back of the site with a six-foot high fence and two rows of pine trees to act as buffers.
The project must come back to the Planning Board for final site plan review before construction can start. The sign on Route 7 said it would be available this fall.